Gulu Orthodox Faithful's Welcome New Bishop

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In short
Bishop Silvestros Kisitu becomes the pioneer Bishop of the new Orthodox Diocese of Gulu, Northern and Eastern Uganda. He was formally installed by the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Orthodox Church in Uganda His Eminence Yona Lwanga during a holy liturgy celebrated at St Lavrentios Orthodox Church in Rom Village, in Koro Sub County, Omoro district.

Orthodox faithful's in the Diocese of Gulu have set their hopes for economic transformation on the leadership of their newly consecrated Bishop, Silvestros Kisitu, who was welcomed into the Diocese on Sunday.

Bishop Silvestros Kisitu becomes the pioneer Bishop of the new Orthodox Diocese of Gulu, Northern and Eastern Uganda. He was formally installed by the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Orthodox Church in Uganda His Eminence Yona Lwanga during a holy liturgy celebrated at St Lavrentios Orthodox Church in Rom Village, in Koro Sub County, Omoro district.

Faithful's used the occasion to place at the feet of the new Bishop, a long list of challenges they want his leadership to address to transform the Orthodox faith and livelihoods in the region.

Father Julius Orach, the Dean of Orthodox Church in Gulu said they would like the new Bishop to recruit, train and deploy a new legion of Orthodox Catechists on evangelization mission in the region to address the inert shortfall of Orthodox Clergies in the area.

Father Orach also hinted on increasing the number of Orthodox education and healthcare institutions in the area. He said the Orthodox Church has just one secondary school across the Acholi districts- archangel Michael Orthodox Secondary School.

Peter Douglas Okello, one of the faithful's said they would like to see the new Bishop expanding Archangel Michael Orthodox Secondary School into a Vocational and University of Higher Learning in Omoro district. He implored the leadership of the new bishop to confront some of the social challenges emanating from conflict including high poverty rates and suicide.

Okello urged the Bishop to push for the recognition of Father Julius Orach, the Dean of Orthodox Church in Acholi for his contributions during the difficult era of the Lord's Resistance Army. He said the dean should be awarded a Peace Medal and facilitated to continue his duties.

Betty Aol Ochan, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament urged the new bishop to neutralize the high suicide cases being experienced in Koro Sub County. She said for a region emerging from conflict, the Bishop is inheriting a plethora of challenges affecting the Church.

Bishop Nelson Onono Onweng, the Chairperson of Acholi Religious Leaders' Peace Initiative (ARLPI) said they welcome the new bishop in the interfaith organization. He said they are looking at reconciling the people of West Nile and South Sudan with the Acholi community in the aftermath of the Lord's Resistance Army conflict.

In a message read by Engineer Hilary Onek, the Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Refugees and Relief, President Yoweri Museveni urged the new Bishop to train new catechists for winning over new converts in the countryside while fighting corruption, human rights violations as well as hatred among the people.

Museveni urged all churches to partner with government in promoting economic development through the various development programs of government including operation wealth creation, Youth Livelihoods Fund and the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program amongst others.

Bishop Kisitu said the tasks placed before him will be fulfilled by the grace of God through the unity of faith, hard work and cooperation for all people.

His Eminence Metropolitan Yona Lwanga said it is a miracle to experience the joyful welcome of the new bishop in an environment of peace and unity. He said it was practically impossible to plant the cornerstone of Orthodox faith in the area during the Lord's Resistance Army insurgency.

Bishop Kisitu was elected Bishop by the great Holy Synod of all Orthodox Bishops of Africa and Europe on December 26, 2018. He was later ordained by the Patriarch of Alexandria and the All of Africa Theodore II on January 16th as the first bishop of the Diocese of Gulu, Northern Uganda and Eastern Uganda from Alexandria in Egypt.
 
Who Is Bishop Silvestros Kisitu?

Born to Mr and Mrs Makario Nsaniforetios of Kampala, Kisitu went to Our Father Nursery School, Kasubi Church of Uganda Primary School, Mengo Senior Secondary School, Chwa II Memorial College and UMCAT School of Journalism before he joined Kapodistrian University of Athens. He then joined the Monastery of the Ever-Virgin Mary in Skiadi.

 Kisitu then dedicated all his life to the service of the Church and was tonsured a Monk before he was ordained a deacon. After a year of Priesthood, he was called to serve in the Apostolic Patriarchal See of Alexandria and thereby being made a Most Reverend Archimandrite.

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.